Pluck, last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner, underwent successful surgery on Nov. 3 at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, where he was rushed after exhibiting signs of colic a few hours before his scheduled return in the Commonwealth Turf Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs.
Surgeons found that Pluck was suffering from a torsion, or full twist, of the large colon, according to a press release from Team Valor International.
"They were able to get it untwisted, and he came of the surgery and anesthesia well and is resting now,” said Barry Irwin, president of Team Valor, which races Pluck with Vinery. “He had a very painful experience, and he’s going to be feeling bad for another three or four days, but thankfully it looks like he’s going to be OK.
“Eventually he will be sent to Goldmark Farm in Florida, and as he recovers, we’ll decide with Vinery whether or not to try to bring him back to race again.”
Pluck had been away from the races since early April, when a nuclear scan revealed bruising on both of his hind cannon bones. He was cleared to resume exercise at the end of June and trained well leading up to the Commonwealth Turf under the care of trainer Graham Motion.
From the same home-bred crop that produced Team Valor’s Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom , Pluck achieved Churchill Downs glory almost exactly a year ago, when he rallied from last to capture the Juvenile Turf from the outside post.
Pluck also won the grade III Summer Stakes at Woodbine. He has three wins in seven career starts and $727,290 in earnings.
Last December, Vinery’s Australian division purchased a major share in the More Than Ready colt as a racing and stallion prospect.